It’s called apophasis.
One dictionary defines apophasis as “the raising of an issue by claiming not to mention it (as in ‘we won’t discuss his past crimes’).”
As a means to say “But I never said that!” Bill Schmalfeldt has raised apophasis to an art form.
Blogger Ken White (aka Popehat) was once a target in Bill Schmalfeldt’s crosshairs, way back in 2012. Writing as Liberal Grouch, Bill Schmalfeldt published a post (since deleted) at Breitbart Unmasked. Here’s the link to the archived version of the post:
And here’s the substance of the post:
@POPEHAT AND @PATTERICO WHINE ABOUT RETALIATION
Written by: LiberalGrouch on December 29, 2012.on February 21, 2013.
Read this, and try not to be moved to tears.
These poor, downtrodden RWNJs are TRYING to enjoy their little mean high school cheerleader bitch “who sucked the mostest in 2012″ poll and people are trying to RUIN their FUN by RETALIATING!
Can you feel the sadness? The heavy weight of darkness in poor Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County Patrick Frey’s heart as he was forced to reveal the fear in which he lives? As he whines to the lawyer who is defending him in a civil suit for publishing a woman’s Social Security number and personal medical information about the horrible, horrible RETALIATION being RETALIATED against him and others who believe Brett Kimberlin sucked more than anyone else could POSSIBLY suck in 2012?
One might think someone had taken poor Patrick Frey’s office telephone number (213-974-0524, Fax 213-687-3128) or his office address (210 W. Temple St., Room 17-1116, Los Angeles, California, 90012) and suggested that they be used to improperly harass Mr. Frey as there are repercussions to be had for taking the private, personal information of an innocent woman and using it in RETALIATION against her for suing a friend of his. Nobody I know would ever CONSIDER doing such a thing, however deserved it may be. It would be wrong. And two wrongs do not make a right. (Although THREE rights make a LEFT!)
But let your hearts not be heavy, gentle reader. I, for one, do not believe there is any actual retaliation going on here. Deputy District Attorney Frey just SAYS he’s being retaliated against. He doesn’t actually identify what FORM this retaliation is taking.
I say that unless someone is dragging @Popehat…
…and Frey OUT OF THEIR OFFICES and BREAKING THEIR KNEES WITH BASEBALL BATS because of this, then there is nothing for them to worry about. Words are just words, and they cannot harm you. “Sticks and stones,” as they say.
Or, baseball bats.
And let it NOT be said that the Liberal Grouch advocates anyone using baseball bats to break the kneecaps of either Mr. White or Mr. Frey! Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if you have it in your mind that if Nadia Naffe were a friend of yours and some scumbag attorney used the powers of his office to dig up and use private information against her, whoever did it (or defends him) DESERVES to have their knees broken with baseball bats, let me dissuade you of that notion here and now.
That is not what baseball bats were made for.
For one thing, a wooden bat could break if it were used in such a reckless and lawless fashion. And if you think you can get around that by using an aluminum bat, guess again. An aluminum bat (unless it is reinforced with a lead center) would likely bend under such pressure. Now, I hear the crafty ones out there saying, “Yeah? Well, what if I drill out the center of a WOODEN baseball bat, fill IT with lead, cover the tip with Plastic Wood? Wouldn’t THAT do the job?”
Again, I say, you are wasting your time with all that effort.
Tire irons are much more readily available.
And I am NOT saying that Patrick Frey and Kenneth White deserve to be dragged from their offices, out to the street in front of their offices, and thus have their knees broken by ANYTHING, be it a tire iron, or a lead pipe, or a lead-filled baseball bat. Nor should they be taken by a group of four or five strong men (or women) and thrown in front of a moving truck. You would have to consider the emotional damage that would be done to the innocent truck driver, unless the truck driver agrees to be part of your conspiracy in the first place. And a truck might swerve to miss Mr. Frey and/or Mr. White, the driver could lose control, jackknife his trailer and cause a lot of damage to people and property. And if it’s a truck with a hazardous payload, like sulfuric acid, I don’t think I need to tell YOU how severe the environmental damage would be.
So, NO! Do NOT hit Mr. Frey and/or Mr. White with baseball bats or lead pipes or tire irons on their knees, arms, elbows, shins, or any other parts of their bodies. It would be painful and degrading, moreso to you as an outraged, but otherwise law-abiding citizen. It would ruin your life. If the authorities caught you. And if they did, if they pressed charges. I understand in some communities, the authorities tend to turn a blind eye to bullies getting their deserved comeuppance. I don’t think Los Angeles is such a community.
So, let’s leave things as they are. Let Mr. Frey and Mr. White FEEL they are being retaliated against in a war of words they started and are being smeared with feces being hurled back at them after being first hurled BY them. Let yourself not be dragged down to the Neanderthal level of a Mr. Frey or a Mr. White (or a Mr. R. Stacy McCain or a Mr. Lee Stranahan or a Mr. Ali Akbar or a Mr. Aaron Worthing) and degrade yourself by using brute force to punish them for their many, many alleged (by me) crimes against nature and humanity.
Know that the sternest punishment one can legally employ against such blackguards is the sure and certain knowledge that when they awake in the morning, they will still be…
And let God deal with their sins. As He will. Probably with sores and painful boils. On their faces.
Officers, this is Bill Schmalfeldt, the nice old man who wouldn’t hurt a fly, the poor, disabled, can’t-walk-without-assistance recent widower that all of us meanies stand in the way of. This thing, who writes the most grotesque fantasies of violence imaginable (under the guise of “OH, BUT DON’T EVER ACTUALLY DO THAT. It would be wrong.”), is afraid that someone is going to bomb his apartment building.
Maybe in addition to apophasis, it would also be wise to define psychological projection.
Psychological projection, also known as blame shifting, is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude (or prone to violent fantasies) may constantly accuse other people of being rude (or prone to violent fantasies).
Officers, enjoy your day. Thanks for your service, and please get home safe.